Please enjoy this excerpt from Pro Cycling on $10 a Day: From Fat Kid to Euro Pro. In his hilarious debut book, pro cyclist Phil Gaimon tells the improbable story of his rise from plump kid to pro bike racer.
It was humid and over a hundred degrees in Florida that August, but I wore pants for a few weeks to keep my wounds covered. The crash took me off the bike for a while, forcing me to recover from the missing skin, a hard stage race, and a long summer. When I showed up at a small stage race in north Georgia the next month, my climbing legs from Toona were back with a vengeance. I was second overall going into the last stage, with two 40-mile laps and three long climbs each. I was only down by two seconds overall, but I attacked from the gun and stayed away to win by four minutes, despite a full Jittery Joe’s pro team chasing me all day. A year before, I’d begged that team for a contract, and their manager told me to do more NRCs. On the third lap, I saw an awful lot of guys in orange Jittery Joe’s jerseys on the side of the road, dropped from trying to catch me. I guess they hadn’t done enough NRC races.